We knew that point guard Isaiah Thomas considered Kobe Bryant a mentor and role model, but his tweet about texting the late Lakers legend on Father's Day put tears in our eyes. Kobe always took such pride in being a father to his four children, so this Father's Day comes with a little sadness for every basketball fan.
Bryant and his daughter Gianna were killed in a helicopter crash in January, and our hearts still hurt for his wife and children who don't get to celebrate with their dad today. He also clearly had an impact as a parental figure far beyond his own family, and Thomas likely isn't the only one thinking about Kobe today.
Thomas grew up a fan of Bryant, and as he rose to stardom in the NBA, the pair formed a special relationship. Thomas participated in Bryant's secretive "Mamba Camp" last summer and he's said that Bryant often supported him through hard times in his life like his sister's death and a major injury in 2017.
It's no surprise that Bryant was so kind and gracious towards Thomas, and today is a hard reminder for many people that he's really gone. We all know Kobe was a great #GirlDad, but it turns out he was a pretty incredible "basketball dad" too.